Display Cabinet

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2014 06:09 PM GMT

I am a model ship builder and want to build a large (6'h x 42"w x 20"d) cabinet. The cabinet will have glass on at least 3 sides and with glass shelves and interior lighting. It will be for the display of several of my models including one which is 33"l x 12"w x 24"h.

I have played around with designing it but am at a loss as to the best way to secure the glass and the best way to assure the case will not rack and crack the glass. I am thinking of adding a cross member halfway up and also using two doors in the front with a cross member halfway up.

I also have questions on the wood choice and size for the vertical and cross pieces. I probably have a million other questions but don't know what they are at this point.

Your sugggestions would be welcome and any reference materials you suggest I look for.


A cabinet that size will have very large glass shelves, and they'd need to be 1/4" and they'd be very heavy. They'd also need center support, for sure. If you've never attempted building a cabinet of this size and scope I would start with a smaller project to familiarize yourself with the techniques, or at the least, study some similar pieces very thoroughly...proper joinery, glass support,and weight distribution,combined with structural rigidity and stability in the design are imperative, and that comes with good design and knowledge of the methods, and characteristics of said design...not an easy project.This is advanced woodworking and design.I would suggest visiting some furniture stores to look at the techniques and construction used in larger display/curio cabinets...this will teach you a lot and give you a better feel of the subject than a book or video can.


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